In the face of economic uncertainty and severe budgetary restrictions, the European markets for video and related surgical equipment saw moderate decline in the last few years. Market expansion resumed in 2012, but at a slower rate of growth—a few countries are still mandating budgetary restrictions. Although growth rates are expected to pick up slightly in the future, the outlook for the medtech market remains meager until public finances in Europe are restored, especially in the southern member states. However, despite overall stagnancy in the market, technological advances and reconfiguration within a variety of specific markets are driving significant growth for new products. The market for video, surgical scopes, and operating equipment, for example, remains driven by technological innovation. When this market resumes its prerecession level over the next six years, as is all but guaranteed by the ageing of the European population as well as the increase in MIS procedures and the need for real-time access to data, it will comprised a more advanced array of products than was in place before 2009.
Integrated OR Components
One market in which important reconfigurations were apparent in the last year was the market for integrated OR systems. In 2012, this market was worth over €64 million and experienced the largest growth out of all other segments. Historically, companies that provide integrated systems such as Karl Storz, Olympus, and Stryker have dominated this market. Their products offer centralized control of the entire OR with the ability to maneuver and manage endoscopic equipment and peripheral devices such as tables, booms, and lights to enable surgeons to view, display, and document information from video and other data sources in and out of the OR. However, budgetary restrictions and customer needs have reshaped and segmented the OR integrated market.
There has been increasing adoption of products that help medical workflow through connectivity of the OR. These systems transport images and patient data over existing IT networks via the video-over-IP route. These products aid in maximizing OR efficiency, staff communication, and connecting all imaging modalities to one centralized video management platform.
In 2012, unit sales of the connected integration component and the full integration component markets saw growth at almost 10%, which demonstrates the current popularity of digital OR integration components. However, the trend over the forecast period will shift towards full integration component systems because they provide an extra level of efficiency in the OR to increase turnover rate and, as a result, maximize the use of hospital budgets.
Scandinavia Leads the Market
The Scandinavian market includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. These countries have chosen a common approach to social welfare and were able to recover quite quickly from the economic recession compared to other regions. Due to the fact that the Scandinavian countries have large sparsely populated areas (with the exception of Denmark), hospitals are increasingly becoming highly specialized treatment centers and simpler cases are being dealt with on an outpatient basis. In general, the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden, are slow at adopting new technologies and as a result have had slower market growth over 2012 than other regions. However, due to hospitals and treatment centers being out of date and relatively old, governments in the various countries have begun construction of new hospitals. The first wave of completed hospitals is expected in 2015. As a result, the market in Scandinavia is expected to grow significantly starting in 2013 as hospitals look to equip themselves with the most up-to-date technology. As more hospitals near their completion date, the market will be sustained by the constant need to furnish these healthcare facilities.
Within the next 5 years, the Scandinavian markets are expected to see almost double-digit growth supplemented by the installations of integrated ORs. As the region switches to the model of specialized treatment centers, there will be an emphasis on constructing efficient ORs. We predict that integrated OR components will grow the fastest. Both the full and digitalized integration component markets are expected to have growth in double digits till 2019. Consequently, the image capture and recording device market will experience the second largest growth over the forecast period. The need to furnish the ORs with equipment such as booms, lights, tables and cameras will result in these markets experiencing sufficient growth over the forecast period as well. Essentially, the installation of operating theatres will drive the other markets and maintain steady high growth over the forecast period.
Karl Storz Leads But Faces New Competition
Karl Storz held approximately a one-fifth share of the European markets for video and surgical microscopes. In addition, the company led six of the 10 market segments. As the demand for integration and HD technology continues to increase across Europe, Karl Storz is expected to maintain a strong presence in the market. Olympus was also a major competitor in the total market in 2012 due to the company’s participation in half of the markets in video and scope equipment. However, its relatively higher prices along with new competitors in the 1-chip surgical camera segment saw its market share being challenged. Stryker, a company based in the U.S., was a strong competitor in the European markets in 2012 and was able to gain market share. Due to its aggressive pricing and breadth of product offerings, as well as the low exchange rate of the U.S dollar, Stryker is expected to continue to increase their market share in Europe.
The integrated component market experienced an influx of new companies that offer digital OR components. MAQUET, a leading competitor in lighting, surgical tables, and equipment booms market, now provides telemedicine and digital connectivity. Through it’s partnership with Richard Wolf, MAQUET can offer fully integrated options. Starkstrom is a strong player in the UK, which started out as a provider for isolated power systems, but now offers a fully integrated component called the S-equiP system. Steris, a competitor in the lighting, surgical table, and equipment boom market, is also an emerging player in the integrated OR market. It it provides an integrated OR solution called the Harmony iQ™ 2000 and 3000. Steris has gained market share in the Benelux region and as purchasing facilities continue to demand product bundling, the company’s market share is expected to increase. S-CAPE is another company that has entered the digitalized OR component market with the S-CAPE video control system. The system among the more expensive,, however, it provides signal processing along with a DICOM link and storage, through PACS. Companies such as Barco and eSaturnus offer more budget-friendly digital systems such as the Nexxis and NUCLeUS respectively. BORh options are designed to provide a “video-over-IP” system for data management, including images and video.
Note: The information contained in this article is taken from a detailed and comprehensive report published by iData Research (www.idataresearch.net) entitled “European Markets for Video and High Tech Markets.”
Kamran Zamanian is president, CEO, and a founding partner of iData Research Inc. (Vancouver, BC). He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Dundee and earned master’s and doctorate degrees in market research and technology from the University of Manchester. Reach him at [email protected].
Karlo Kordic is the lead analyst for iData’s global series on the video, hi-tech, and integrated OR markets. While completing his bachelor of science in cell biology and genetics at the